Twin pairs that grew up with inadequate parental guidance and blatant favoritism develop an emotional hierarchy between themselves that ultimately erodes their connection. In many of the pairs I have treated, the preferred twin is viewed by her sibling as cold and insensitive. In turn, the twin who feels second rate is often described as overly sensitive and needy by her counterpart. The twin who receives preferential treatment is often profoundly conflicted. While she relishes her acclaimed position, she also […]
Tag Archives: adult twins
A Part of Him Will Always Be with His Twin
A woman in her late twenties recently told me that her identical sister’s boyfriend planned to break up with her because of her twinship. Twin pairs who marry other twins often avoid the heartbreaking complications that burden singletons who are romantically involved with a twin. In my experience, the issues are more dramatic if the twin pair is identical. I have spoken with many women who are blindsided by their husband’s relationship to his twin. If the male twins essentially […]
Pedagogy or Pathology?
Following my radio interview on KQED in San Francisco, a listener wrote an email chastising me for propagating unnecessarily negative views about twin development. Moreover, my colleague Dr. Nancy Segal also expressed a similar viewpoint by stating that statistics show that twins are no more at risk for mental health issues than anyone else in the population. She, too, seemed uncomfortable about my desire to highlight adult twin challenges. While I am well aware that most twin relationships are healthy […]
Soul Mates or Cell Mates?
Healthy adult twins do not feel imprisoned by their twinship. They have acknowledged each other’s right to be separate and unique while maintaining their special connection. They have worked through feelings of ambivalence, competition, and jealousy, and each has evolved into an individuated self. Healthy twins care deeply about one another and recognize and respect each other’s autonomy and choices. They enjoy being together but do not require exclusive possession of one other in order to cope with life or […]
The Good/Bad Twin Split: A Recipe for Disaster
The psychological effects on twins who are identified as the “good” or “bad” twin are well documented in various writings by Vivienne Lewin, Barbara Klein, and Dale Ortmeyer. The emotional fallout often continues well into adulthood. Understandably, many twins who have been raised this way are completely estranged from one another. The bad twin feels betrayed that his twin colluded with their parents in perpetuating this split. While the good twin relishes the special role that he has coveted, he […]